Neenah (44-4) returns to the State title match for the first time since 1992 following its 25-18, 25-23, 25-21 sweep of Sun Prairie (39-12) in the Division 1 semifinals Friday at the Resch Center in Green Bay.
The Rockets took control of the match in the first set with a blistering attack, hitting at a .441 clip. Hope Werch and Addie Barnes led Neenah on offense with 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Mikayla Butts was credited with a game-high 33 assists and five service aces. Defensively, the Rockets recorded eight blocks and limited the Cardinals to a .175 hitting percentage. Kayla Kraus led the team with 20 digs.
Sun Prairie was led by Claire Chaussee with 14 kills and four blocks. Kielyn Kapugi added 10 kills, and Ally Keuler dished out 19 assists. Defensively, Elizabeth Maastricht had a team-high 18 digs, and Chaussee recorded three block solos and one block assist.
The Rockets will play for their second State title in its sixth title game appearance. Sun Prairie falls in the semifinals in its third State experience.
The Rockets will play Burlington (39-9) for the Division 1 title Saturday afternoon. The Demons defeated Menomonee Falls in four sets 26-24, 16-25, 25-19, 25-19 in the other semifinal Friday.
The Demons were led by Abby Koenen with 21 kills and 40 assists from Kaley Blake. Alyssa Turzenski also tallied double figures in kills with 10. Burlington was held to a .176 hitting percentage, but were aided by quality serving in the match. The Demons recorded a Division 1 State Tournament record 15 aces, including six from Turzenski, which ties her for third-most in a Division 1 match.
The Indians were led offensively by Ashley Guenveur and Rachel Murphy with 12 and 10 kills, respectively. McKenna Micech led the team with 24 assists, while Ciara Gilberson added 13 assists. Their defensive effort was led by Cami Stigler with 26 digs, and Murphy, who was involved in four of the Indians’ nine blocks.
The Demons have their sights on a third State title and the first since back-to-back titles in 2011-12. Menomonee Falls’ 11th State appearance ends in the semifinals.
Two-time defending champion Catholic Memorial (41-7) is back in the title match attempting to win its third straight championship in Division 2. The Crusaders swept Merrill (29-10) in three sets 25-15, 25-9, 25-18.
Lexi Alder led a balanced hitting attack for Catholic Memorial, which compiled a .356 hitting percentage. She was the lone player in double figures for the Crusaders with 10 kills. Ivey Whalen had seven kills and three others tallied six kills apiece, including Maddy Rondeau, who led the team with 22 assists and 14 digs.
Maddix Bonnell and Katie Zelinski had seven kills for the Blue Jays, which struggled to a .109 hitting percentage against the Crusaders’ defensive front. Lindsey Casper posted 11 assists and Taylor Cichy had 12 digs to lead the Blue Jays statistically.
Catholic Memorial is in pursuit of its seventh State championship, and Merrill ends its eighth State appearance with the loss in the semifinals.